The Great Data Dump

Number two might be the number one way to accurately assess the spread, and ultimately wipe out, Covid-19. "From Stanford to the University of Arizona, from Australia to Paris, teams of researchers have been ramping up wastewater analyses to track the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Initial studies show that sewage monitoring, or 'wastewater-based-epidemiology,' could not only tell us how much the virus might actually be spreading in a community — but also when the virus has finally gone away." In other words, some experts think shit happens to be one of the best ways to answer some of the key questions about the pandemic; and to ultimately assess whether a community has achieved turd immunity. It all gives new meaning to the phrase, Hindsight is 2020. Whether testing sewage will end up being the shit or a waste remains to be seen. Like so many of our efforts, this one is a crap shoot.


Derrick and The Domino Effect

"One barometer of the collapse is the local drilling rig count: Last week, it dropped by 37, leaving 246 operating, down from 460 a year ago. Executives predict 100 more will be gone by the end of the year." People in the oil business are no strangers to dramatic market ups and downs. But the combination of a pandemic and a supply glut has left speculators and workers feeling ill baby ill. NYT: For over a decade, the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico has been the epicenter of the American oil boom. Now, it's the epicenter of its demise.


Weekend Whats

What to Book: You're weird. And you should feel pretty good about that. Olga Khazan's, Weird: The Power of Being an Outsider in an Insider World, looks at how some people have turned being weird into a superpower.

+ What to Doc: Spike Jonze new documentary, Beastie Boys Story, is a much-watch for NextDraft readers (who love nothing more than Jewish guys who treat word play like foreplay.) I am the king of boggle/there is none higher/I get 11 points off the word quagmire.

+ What to Read: "The deadly episode stood for a bitterly divided era. Did we ever leave it?" Jill Lepore in The New Yorker: Kent State and the War That Never Ended.


Joe Says it Ain’t So

"I want to address allegations by a former staffer that I engaged in misconduct 27 years ago. They aren't true. This never happened." As the heat builds around Tara Reade's claim that she was sexually assaulted by Joe Biden, the former VP addressed the issue. "The presumptive nominee said he has never asked anyone to sign a nondisclosure agreement. And Biden said that 'women have a right to be heard,' but that 'in the end in every case, the truth is what matters.'"


Armed and Degenerate

"Protesters held signs, waved American flags and even carried firearms, while some chanted 'Let us in!' and 'This is the people's house, you cannot lock us out.'" It was ironic that the Michigan protesters chanted 'Let us in' when they really want the governor to ease restrictions and let them out. But they didn't seem to be the types to let a little irony stop them.

+ Trump: "These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal."


Go Big or Stay Home

"The current rescues only treat the symptoms of economic distress; they do nothing to address structural issues that have been a drag on middle-class household income since the 1980s. If we want to restart the engine that made this nation a superpower, we need to do something big. I mean really, really big: defeat-the-Nazis, land-a-man-on-the-moon, invent-the-internet big." Barry Ritholtz in Bloomberg: The U.S. Needs Way More Than a Bailout to Recover From Covid-19.

+ Here's a community that needs both relief and structural issues addressed. Navajo Nation ranks as third-highest infected area in country.


Nacho, Nacho Man

"Josh Silverman, the chief executive of Etsy, reported that in a single weekend, buyers searched for face masks on the site an average of nine times per second, and the number of face mask sellers had grown five times, to almost 20,000." Evening Standard: Fashionable face masks.

+ 42 face masks in prints that might make you smile.

+ A Mexican 'Lucha Libre' Wrestler Is Sewing Masks To Fight Coronavirus. (I went with a Jack Black Nacho Libre vibe, until I realized it didn't cover any of the important parts.)

+ And of course ... The mask has become the ultimate symbol of this new cultural and political divide. (Maybe some people just can't stand the smell of their own breath.)


Hindsight is 1917

"There are other, potentially more worrisome, explanations, however, beyond mere pride and stubbornness in the persistence of this particular Trumpism. It suggests a President who is either unable to process information once he has something incorrect in his head, is surrounded by people who refuse to correct him from making an embarrassing mistake over and over again, or who refuses to acknowledge a mistake and would rather rewrite history to conform to the mistake than simply correct himself and move on." The New Yorker; History According to Trump. He has called the 1918 Flu the 1917 Flu dozens of times. "Trump's own grandfather died of the flu, in 1918." (Maybe we should inaugurate a new president in 2019.)

+ Oh well, 220, 221. Whatever it takes.


Feel Good Friday

"Canada has banned assault-style weapons following the murder of 22 people in the worst mass shooting in the country's history, Justin Trudeau announced on Friday. 'These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada.'"

+ David Allen, the man behind Getting Things Done, offers these Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times.

+ This is a once in a lifetime sound, folks. Birds on the Vegas Strip.

+ "I started serving meals to the homeless because I understand what it's like not to know where your next meal is going to come from and that's the least that I feel like we can do for our community is to give back." Woman living in her car brings sandwiches, love to the homeless of Houston.

+ Serena Williams among stars to compete in Mario Tennis tournament.

+ This seems like a good idea. How I Built A $100 Drive-In Movie Theater To Hang Out With Friends While Social Distancing.


Something Something Something Murder

The most excellent Damon Lindelof (Creator of Lost, Watchmen, and The Leftovers) has kindly offered to share a serialized story with NextDraft readers to help us, and him, through the quarantine. The first 15 chapters are here.

+ While you're waiting for the next installment, enjoy McSweeney's: Who's Laughing Now, Assholes?" A Letter From Henry David Thoreau to Literature Faculties at Cushy Liberal Arts Schools.